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Semiconductor Engineering Article: Hot Technologies In Cold Weather

By February 28, 2019May 12th, 2021No Comments

It is a busy week for verification and software development. DVCon in San Jose; Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany; and Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain are all happening at the same time. I ended up covering embedded software in Germany (as I also had a paper on “Shift Left” here). At chilly minus 1° Celsius in the morning, the technologies had to be pretty hot to warm me up! My top five take-aways from Embedded World ‘19 were about:

  • Security and safety: Very different in themselves, but both really hot topics that impact all of us
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AIML): making me want to learn more myself
  • Automotive: Making our soon-to-be self-driving cars the coolest gadgets we can own
  • Ecosystems in processors: That may have subtly changed already
  • The ability of counting being a necessary requirement in our business: Apparently, industrial revolutions have reached its fourth wave; computing its fifth, and Wi-Fi its sixth.

The clustering of ecosystems around processor architectures was very visible, both directly with the presence of Arm and its licensees, Intel and a RISC-V ecosystem booth—but perhaps even more interesting, they were present in a subtler way with tool vendors like Lauterbach and IAR simply adding demos for RISC-V tool support at their booth. I had written about the “Game of Ecosystems” before and more recently about Arm Techcon, and the jury is still out here. In my discussions with colleagues and market experts, the big question was whether value-added tool support for RISC-V will find users willing to pay for them, given that one big draw of using RISC-V is to start from an open source base. But then again, the hardware implementations of architecture variations need to be verified, and software needs to be developed securely and safe. It’s a fascinating space to watch.
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